Author Topic: Career Advice  (Read 3147 times)

dcozad999

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Career Advice
« on: September 15, 2015, 12:01:16 PM »
Hi all. Just looking for a little career advice and wanted to see what you all had to say.

I'm feel like I'm stuck in a rut and need some help (maybe a little push) to get out of it. I'm a business/systems analyst at the same company going on 10 years (with a brief year and a half hiatus). I'm making $80k which is above the norm for my area of the country (Topeka, Kansas). There is no advancement opportunities unless I can find another contract, of which there aren't any in the area. I also haven't advanced or learned any new skills in the field over the past 5 years.

My main problem is I hate my job (basically a highly paid software tester and support tech), but I love the money. My current skills will not translate to a job for the same amount of money and I would probably need to take a $10k - $15k pay cut for another job. That's a difficult thing for my ego and pocketbook to take. I guess in my mind it feels like I would be moving backward. I'll be 40 years-old in January. A lower paying job would also put a damper on my retirement savings.
The last 3 years my wife and I were finishing up our Master's Degrees, living only on my salary. I was able to pay cash (minus a little credit card debt which is almost paid off) so didn't take out any loans. She is now employed and making $40k. For 3 years my excuse for not moving on was to pay for these degrees, and now that excuse is gone.

I received my MBA in May of this year and had been telling myself that is going to be the beginning of a new start for me. Yet still I hesitate. I guess one other major problem is I don't really know what I want to do with my life. I had thought that by getting the MBA I would figure that out. Instead it has just left me with more questions.  Truth is I liked everything (except accounting). I enjoyed Finance, Marketing, International Business, even Economics. I'm intelligent and have complete confidence in my abilities so I know I can excel in anything I choose. I'm just having a very hard time

I already know I sound like a big pussy but would just like to hear what anybody else has to say about my situation. Maybe some stories of people who made a big career change and how it worked out for you. Or just a good kick in the ass

Thanks for listening.

JLee

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Re: Career Advice
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2015, 12:15:35 PM »
Are you open to moving?

Here's my brief story...I was in law enforcement in NH for almost five years. I got tired of freezing all the time and left my ~48k/yr job to move to Arizona, with nothing lined up. I took a pay cut and worked for a security company for about a year, but since I busted my ass with overtime I ended up making more than I did in NH. However, that wasn't going anywhere long terim so I got out of security and started in IT at $16/hr. Busted my ass there too, worked up to $61k/yr in 3 years - last week I signed an offer for $97k back on the east coast, so I'm heading back to the other side of the country.

Not having a wife/kids makes this a lot easier for me, but if you're open to doing things most people would call crazy, you might be surprised at the outcome. : )

dcozad999

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Re: Career Advice
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2015, 12:28:37 PM »
Not currently willing to relocate.  Family is too important for us to move too far away. We are trying for a 2nd child and want to live near at least one set of grandparents (other set is in Colombia so that's not an option).

Kansas City is about an hour away so it's an option if the opportunity is right. It's probably best for my wife to stay in her current position for a couple years. She's a therapist and they need 2 years of supervised work.

We'd love to move to Lawrence (Rock Chalk!), and I just applied to an opportunity there.



Congratulations on the successful career transition and the new job. That is awesome.

JLee

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Re: Career Advice
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2015, 12:36:16 PM »
Can you find a slightly lower paying job with better benefits to make the lower pay worthwhile? Stock match, better 401k match, additional vacation, etc?

Are you having a hard time choosing something new, or a hard time making the leap from the devil you know to the unknown?

dcozad999

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Re: Career Advice
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2015, 12:45:31 PM »
Trouble with both!

I have developed anxiety issues, probably since starting a family. Even though deep down I know things will always be okay, I am absolutely petrified of being unemployed and not taking care of my family. So taking the leap is scary, when the current situation is, for the moment, safe and easy.

I'm also having trouble deciding on where to take the plunge. With an MBA I would think I'd be able to get an entry level position in any business discipline. What I'd really like to do is get into a management trainee program which a few of the companies in the area have. They pay well and get you experience in all areas of the business. Unfortunately they want the mid-twenties crowd, not someone pushing 40. Their loss, but it doesn't help me much.




MDM

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Re: Career Advice
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2015, 12:52:10 PM »
I received my MBA in May of this year...
Job interviews through the school from which you received the MBA?

Easye418

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Re: Career Advice
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2015, 01:03:01 PM »
Trouble with both!

I have developed anxiety issues, probably since starting a family. Even though deep down I know things will always be okay, I am absolutely petrified of being unemployed and not taking care of my family. So taking the leap is scary, when the current situation is, for the moment, safe and easy.

I'm also having trouble deciding on where to take the plunge. With an MBA I would think I'd be able to get an entry level position in any business discipline. What I'd really like to do is get into a management trainee program which a few of the companies in the area have. They pay well and get you experience in all areas of the business. Unfortunately they want the mid-twenties crowd, not someone pushing 40. Their loss, but it doesn't help me much.

It sounds like you are in more of an IT - systems analyst role, not Finance related? 

I assume you didn't go to a top tier B School (I didn't either).  For me, my MBA gets me the interview.  I make decent money for a 26 year old.  My goal is to top $100k income before I am 30.  Might make it or I might be just short. 

vagon

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Re: Career Advice
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2015, 10:46:13 PM »
The typical progression for BAs in my company is into project management.
Are their sideways move available in these areas?

You may be able to learn in a secondment and start managing small projects. From their you can both find a new educational direction (PMP, Scrummaster etc) and also have a much more transferrable skillset.